For Birth Mothers

No one knew you were pregnant. No one knows about your baby. You can’t take care of your baby. What are you going to do?

Please click here to view our information packet and learn more about how the Safe Haven Law can help.  Information is also available in Spanish and Polish.

An unwanted pregnancy can be a traumatic experience. You may have overwhelming feelings of isolation, fear, or shame that could lead to irrational thoughts or acts, such as unsafely abandoning your baby.

If you live in Illinois and cannot care for your newborn (30 days old or younger) you are allowed to legally and anonymously relinquish the unharmed infant to designated safe havens locations.

Safe Haven locations include:
• Hospitals
• Emergency care facilities
• Fire stations
• Police stations – including those on college campuses

Babies must be handed to a person at a Safe Haven location, but you will not be asked your name or other identifying information. No one will try to stop you or follow you.

The personnel on staff at the Safe Haven will give you an information packet which outlines how this process works and your rights as a parent. Although it is not required, you may anonymously provide medical information, so your baby will grow up with a medical history.

If you would like to talk to someone about dropping off your baby at a Safe Haven location please call our 24/7 hotline – 888-510-BABY (2229). All calls to the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation are completely confidential. We are here to help and support you, not judge you.

COMMON QUESTIONS

birth
What happens after I drop-off my baby at a Safe Haven?

Once your baby has been safely relinquished:

  • The infant will be taken to the nearest hospital (if you aren’t already at a hospital) and will receive medical care if needed.
  • After the baby has been examined and given a clean bill of health, hospital personnel will call the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
  • DCFS will then contact an adoption agency to start the adoption process.

What has happened to other Safe Haven babies?

As of 2016, 113 newborns have safely taken to Safe Havens. They have been adopted into loving families and are leading happy, healthy lives. To learn more about some of these families, please click here.

How can I receive medical care?

If you take your baby to an Illinois hospital, you will be offered medical care and counseling services. Hospitals have staff members trained to help you cope and make sure you understand your rights and your options. If you do not want these services, you may simply walk away. You can also find more information about the physical and emotional changes that occur after giving birth in this brochure. It is also available in Spanish and Polish.

What happens if I change my mind after I drop-off my baby at a Safe Haven location?

If you leave your baby at a Safe Haven location and change your mind about your decision within 72 hours, the facility must inform you of the name and location of the hospital the baby was taken to. You may also call DCFS at 800-252-2873. Detailed information on parental rights can be found here. This information is also available in Spanish and Polish.

What if I don’t live in Illinois?

Although they vary by state, every state has a Safe Haven law. Information about laws in other states can be found by clicking here.

How can I anonymously provide medical information for my baby?

When you bring your newborn baby to a Safe Haven you will be offered forms to fill out. If you wish, you may download them here and bring them with you when you relinquish your newborn.

How do I create an adoption plan for my baby?

Every child deserves a safe, loving and permanent home. You can help provide this by planning to have your baby adopted, even before giving birth. Any of the adoption agencies listed here would be happy to help you make an adoption plan for your child. Agency staff carefully interview and check the backgrounds of prospective adoptive parents to make sure that they:

  • Have no criminal or child abuse history
  • Have room in their home for a child
  • Can support the child financially
  • Can provide a loving, safe home
 

As of 2016, 3,227 infants have been safely surrendered to Safe Havens nationally.

Please help us continue our passion, commitment and dedication to spreading awareness of Safe Haven laws.